Irish hair and beauty industry to reopen on 29 June

The Irish hair and beauty industry has been given the green light from the Government to reopen on 29 June.

On the original road map for reopening the country, the hair and beauty sector was listed in Phase 4, which was 20 July. It has now been given the go-ahead to resume business in Phase 3, which is 29 June.

Listing the different sectors that can reopen at the end of the month, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said “and yes, hairdressers, beauticians and barbershops”.

He went on to talk about the challenging time the country has been through and hope for the future. “Never again will we take something as simple as a haircut for granted,” he added.

The announcement follows a National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) recommendation to the Government that salons should be allowed to reopen.

Prior to this, the Irish Hairdressers Federation, the Hair and Beauty Industry Confederation (Habic), the Hairdressing Council of Ireland, Synergy Hair Group and the Barber Society of Ireland collaborated on the Covid-19 Reopening Guidance for Irish Hair Salons and Barber Shops, which was then presented to the Government.

The guidelines were developed following engagement with the HSE and the Health and Safety Authority, along with the assistance of Irish health and safety experts.

Ireland hair and beauty industry reaction

Habic welcomed the Government announcement, and believes the majority of salons will be ready to reopen on 29 June.

“It’s more notice than any other industry has been given,” said Habic CEO Margaret O’Rourke Doherty. “An earlier reopening has been flagged for some time. There have been signs of it coming, and we knew this could potentially happen. So there are a huge amount of businesses that are ready.

“There’s a huge consumer demand out there too. If clients didn’t have confidence in the industry, there wouldn’t be such a big demand for all salons to reopen. Moving forward, I think it’s really important as an industry that we capitalise on how valued we are. We saw that during the lockdown.”

Habic said it wanted to remind members that the reopening guidelines are for both the hair and beauty industry. “Beauty has been getting a bit lost in the media, but they are classified together,” added O’Rourke Doherty.

The Irish Hairdressers Federation also welcomed the Government announcement. “From the beginning of this pandemic, the safety and wellbeing of our staff and clients has been our top priority. We immediately took the responsible decision to close in March earlier than we had to as it was the right thing to do,” it said.

“For the past three months we have been working tirelessly on preparing our guidelines for reopening the sector safely and responsibly, working with expert advisers and engaging with Government. We would like to sincerely thank the Government for constructively engaging with us and allowing hairdressers to get back to work. As the song goes, it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day and we’re all feeling good.”

Following the announcement, the Hairdressing Council of Ireland called on the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys to issue an instruction to local authorities around the country to speed up the payment of the Restart Grant, to enable hairdressers and barbers begin to reopen on the scheduled date.

The news follows an annoucement this week that beauty and hair salons in Northern Ireland can open on July 6. Elsewhere in the UK, the government is yet to definitively confirm its proposed July 4 date for salons in England to reopen, while in Scotland salons are expected to reopen as part of phase three, no earlier than July 9, but no official confirmation has been given. The Welsh government has given the date of July 13 for salons to reopen, providing the virus transmission rate remains low.